Google wants websites to be more like apps and work offline

‘This page cannot be displayed’ or ‘Error 404, not found’ are two things on the internet that nobody every really wants to see, because it can mean that something has gone wrong with your connection. No connection means no internet, and no internet means mass panic. Ok, maybe not but it’s incredibly frustrating. Google wants to change that and make more webpages available offline, like apps already do.

More precisely the system would be a new browser standard that allows webpages to store data locally, meaning if you don’t have a connection you just see a cached version of the website rather than the live page. As Google software engineer Alex Russell put it, “We want to load something instead of nothing”.

Another advantage is that since a lot of data is stored locally it means loading times would theoretically decrease by showing you the cached version while the rest of the page is updating. There’s still a bit of development to be done before the system goes into the testing phases, but if you’re interested in learning more you can read Russell’s paper on the topic here.

I’d just like to know exactly how it will work. Surely it wouldn’t be all websites on the internet, that would take up so much space it wouldn’t fit on most people’s computers. Maybe just the stuff you visit often?

Want to read more? Here’s our coverage of the recent Apple announcements, including everything you need to know about Apple’s ‘phablet’, the iPhone 6 Plus, and smartwatches buying guide, or if you’re sick of Apple completely, here’s our rundown of our 14 favourite dating apps, from Tinder to eHarmony.

Tom Pritchard